Valdobbiadene. While I had experience with the words ‘prosecco,’ ‘Italy,’ and ‘wine’ before 2017, the first word of this post was one with which I was not as familiar. I’ve been interested in wine almost from the moment I turned 21. Four years in, I know more than I did before, and still have a ton of learning ahead of me. When I first dove into the world of wine, I wanted to learn everything about Merlot and protect it from the Sideways haters. I still love Merlot, but I’ve certainly expanded my repertoire since then.
So what does Valdobbiadene offer wine lovers? If you’re into history, bubbles, and a magnificent countryside, it provides a lot. The oldest known link between the region and prosecco dates back to 1772. Many of the wineries here are small and/or family-based. The hillside landscape provides soils that are a conglomeration of rock, sand, and clay, which equates to varied land and unique wine. It has a little something for every interest. All you have to have is an desire to discover more about wine, and you can follow Valdobbiadene down any path you choose.
More than halfway through this #WineStudio session, I opened the Valdoca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Naturae “Rive di Santo Stefano” which probably had the most eye catching bottle of the whole program. None of these bottles featured bespectacled critters or surrealist artwork; however, the blue bottle popped and if housed next to the others we had previously tasted, it would stand out the most. On the palate there were notes of Granny Smith apple, crisp lemon, and some round pear flavors. There was a decent bit of acid and minerality here, but no follow through. It didn’t linger long, and although it had the most interesting look on the outside, it fell more in the middle of the pack for me once I tasted it. Buy this one if you’re looking for something to please a wide range of people; that’s where I think it will be best received.
For the people that love a touch of sweet to their prosecco, the second bottle I tried for this last post was one that would satisfy. The Tenuta degli Ultimi Rive di Collalto “Biancariva Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG was a rich golden color with notes of lemon and lime, white fruits including pear and peach, as well as a nice dose of minerality to finish it all off. I’d guess anyone who enjoys fruity cocktails that are just somewhat sweet would flock to this option if given the choice.
The Conte Collalto Conegliano Valdobbiadene Brut Prosecco Superiore DOCG was the exact kind of wine to open for the beginning of a party, or to share between two as an aperitif. This one was all citrus at the start, with lemon peel dominating. However, as it opened up, there were notes of tart apple and a hint of herbs. It had just enough zing to wake up the palate, but plenty of versatility to please a wide range of palates. Buy a few bottles of this for your next dinner party, and wait for all your guests to ask for a second glass.
While I didn’t know it at the time, I saved one of the best for last. The final bottle I opened was the 2015 Malibran Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG “Credamora” which abounded with floral, citrus, and fruity notes all wrapped up in dough. The most apparent notes were those of apple, pear, white flowers, lemon, and sourdough bread. This wine was very soft, with the most sensory experiences coming from the gentle bubbles on the tongue and the prominent yeast on the nose. As the wine warmed, I swear it was like walking by a boulangerie any time I got a whiff. Whereas the previous bottle would make a perfect aperitif, I quickly came to discover that this one needed food. Although I am not much of a chef, my sister and I have taken to meal prep, and the night I opened this bottle, I was chowing down on some grilled chicken with rosemary, cauliflower, and rice. The cauliflower/prosecco combo was not one that made this bottle any more special; however, the chicken became significantly less boring with each sip. This was an incredibly subtle prosecco, and if you like something that makes you search for the hidden layers, add this to your fridge. Throughout the time we spent exploring this area, I discovered just how diverse each bottle I opened was, and this was no exception.
And so the Valdobbiadene posts come to an end! This was one of the most intense sessions of #WineStudio, and I learned so much about the region, the wine, and prosecco in general. As always, I encourage you to join us all at 9pm (my Baltimore time) on Tuesdays. Just follow the hashtag WineStudio on Twitter. Even if you don’t have the specific wine we are trying, open something up you love and chime in with questions to learn all you can about the topic of the month. I’ve become a better wino because of #WineStudio, and I want everyone to jump on board with me, too! See you next time.
These wines were kindly provided to me by the wineries/importers listed above, but all opinions are my own.